Six months into the year and no complaints from your employees about sexual or other types of workplace harassment? Give yourself a pat on the back but don’t kid yourself into thinking that #MeToo and the TimesUp initiative are going to go away. Time magazine called #MeToo “one of the highest velocity shifts in our culture since the 1960s” when it selected the social media movement as 2017’s Person of the Year.
Employees have been empowered by #MeToo to speak up about workplace behavior that makes them uncomfortable and demand that business owners provide a workplace that is safe from harassment of any kind. TimesUp is providing legal defense funds for victims of workplace harassment and proposing legislation to penalize employers (both public and private) that don’t take action to protect employees from workplace harassment. Already New York City and Maryland have passed legislation that mandates harassment policies and training for employees.
As a business owner, unless you take action to address workplace harassment, you won’t have an “affirmative defense” should a harassment claim be filed against you or your company – a complaint that could cost thousands of dollars to defend and may even drive you into bankruptcy.
An ‘affirmative defense” means that you, as an employer, have taken reasonable measures to prevent and address workplace harassment. These reasonable measures include:
Next Level Solutions and Team Real World have partnered to provide two four-hour presentations on June 26 that will help you protect your workplace. The morning presentation is for managers and supervisors; the afternoon presentation is designed for employees without supervisory responsibilities. To register, email email@example.com. The $295 registration fee includes a one-hour free consultation by a Human Resources professional (limit one offer per company) to help identify areas that should be addressed by your organization.
Your company may be eligible for training funds from the Incumbent Workers Training Program (IWTP) through the LA Workforce Commission (LWC). IWTP funds may be applied toward these registration fees. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Attending a local seminar also provides the opportunity to build a working relationship with an experienced Human Resource professional who can help you update your employee handbook, anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies and procedures, as well as providing you with someone to conduct independent and objective investigations should your company face a harassment complaint. Customized training programs are also available for your workplace.